November 19, 2008

Barack Obama’s transition team dropped broad hints Wednesday about who will fill a raft of top posts in his administration, naming teams of aides to develop policies in key areas.

Former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle was named to head a healthcare working group — at the same time as CNN reported he had already accepted an offer to serve in the cabinet as secretary of health and human services.

The president-elect’s office, which made the working group announcements in a press release, gave no immediate comment on the report about Daschle.

James Steinberg, thought to be the favorite to serve as national security advisor in the Obama administration, was named to head a national security working group.

Another close foreign policy aide, Susan Rice, who is also tipped for a top White House or State Department national security post, will work alongside Steinberg.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Steinberg served as deputy national security advisor in president Bill Clinton’s administration and accompanied Obama as an unpaid aide on his trip to Europe and the Middle East in July.

Rice was assistant secretary of state for African affairs between 1997 and 2001.

Daniel Tarullo, who has been mentioned as a possibility for a job on the president’s National Economic Council, was named as head of an economic working group during the transition.

Sonal Shah, head of the philanthropic arm of Internet giant Google, was named as part of a three-person team to coordinate technology, innovation and government reform during the transition.

She will serve alongside telecommunications and media strategist Blair Levin and Julius Genachowski, a former chief counsel to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

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